With the Hastings Borough Council elections set to take place on Thursday (May 3) we have invited each of the candidates to share a little bit of information about themselves.
Here are the candidates for Ashdown ward in their own words. Candidates appear in the order they appear on the polling card.
Gabriel Carlyle (Green)
A long-time campaigner on peace and environmental issues, Gabriel Carlyle has lived in St Leonards for the last 14 years. He works in publishing and is a co-founder of Fossil Free Hastings, campaigning to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels. In 2015 he brought a legal action against Hastings Council over its plans to build the Queensway Gateway Road due to national and EU directives on air pollution, temporarily halting the project.
Lex Coan (Lab)
As a single parent of two children, one of whom has special educational needs, I have received a lot help and support from friends and neighbours, and want to serve the community in return. I volunteer for Age Uk and run a SEN support group in Sandown Primary School. I facilitate an Acts of Kindness workshop to help bring out the best in people and to make our town the friendliest seaside town in East Sussex.
I promise to do everything in my power to keep Ashdown Ward the green, pleasant and welcoming neighbourhood that we all know and love.
Mike Edwards (Con)
I moved to East Sussex in 2002 after a career with large companies in the beer and oil industries. I ran a security company in Hastings before retiring in 2010. This gave me the opportunity to get involved in local politics and I have represented Ashdown Ward for the Conservatives since 2014. I am married and have three adult children plus grandchildren. I play some golf and enjoy travel, gardening and military history.
Lindsey Fellows (Lib Dem)
Lindsey is a teacher at the Hastings Academy. She would hope to redress some of the inefficiencies of the current Labour Council administration. She would work towards a solution for the dirty streets in the town. Lindsey would like to see a sensitive but practicable solutions to the street drinker problem. She would also like to see improvements to local social housing provision and more Council-inspired apprenticeships.
Paul Robert Homer (Green)
I have lived in Hastings with my family for the last six years, working in art and film. If elected as a councillor I will work to improve local renewable energy opportunities. I will push for a 20mph speed limit on residential roads to save lives and to reduce road accidents. I will ensure the council increases the amount of affordable housing. I will campaign to introduce food waste and greater recycling collection across the town, bringing us in line with the rest of the UK.
Sorrell Marlow-Eastwood (Con)
Sorrell lives locally with her family and works as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant in The St Leonards Academy. Her background is in the hospitality industry and this makes Sorrell extremely well organised and used to solving problems and doing her best to ensure a great outcome for people from all walks of life. Sorrell has wholeheartedly embraced the town and thrown herself into local issues, such as St Mary’s in the Castle, Conquest Hospital and Markwick Gardens. A deeply committed team player who strives for excellence in everything, she will ensure Ashdown Ward is the best it can possibly be.
Steve Thorpe (Lab)
I was manager at Home-Start Hastings and Rother for six years working with volunteers who provided help and advice for parents with young children. Previously I was a lift engineer and supervisor working on major projects across Southern England.
I have experience of casework from being a shop steward and in my last role advising on issues dealing with employment, benefits, housing and personal matters.
I am looking forward to joining Labour colleagues on Hastings Borough Council who have a proven track record of being an effective administration, benefiting all residents of our towns.
Robert Wakeford (Lib Dem)
Robert works in London and commutes every day. He is married with two young children. He wishes to see greater public participation and higher standards in planning.